15 Things You're Doing Wrong With Your Event Website Design

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Designing your event website can be difficult to master.

Many event profs still struggle when it comes to creating an event website that looks great, gives your audience what they're looking for and focuses on conversion and increased registrations. 

Ultimately, your event website needs to be: 

  • Visually appealing & inviting 

  • Easy to use

  • Easy to navigate

  • Converting 

It's often your visitors' first or second touch point with your event, so the first 10 seconds count. You need to make this first impression as impactful as possible. (Click to Tweet!)

Over the years, I have seen too many event websites fall short on this and sadly, they often achieve the exact opposite.

They are annoying, they are frustrating to use and they scare people away.

It's no secret that a great user experience can lead to increased revenue.

So fixing your event website mistakes takes a little bit of time, but it can help you in the long run. 

Let's look at the mistakes you should avoid (and see how we can fix them). 

DESIGN & USABILITY MISTAKES

1. NO RESPONSIVE DESIGN!

This is by far the most important step to improving your event website.

With Google's mobile first index coming in early 2018, according to Search Engine Land, it's no longer just competitive advantage to have a mobile friendly and fully responsive event website. 

Your audience are on mobile (in fact, 60% of your audience will visit your event website from a mobile device) and if they can't access crucial information about your event 'on-the-go', you risk losing them at a critical point. 

Without responsive web design, your search engine visibility will equally suffer. (Click to Tweet!)

If you're looking out for event software that can help you build mobile responsive event themes that tie in to your online registration (shameless plug here), make sure you pick a provider that allows you to show/hide content elements based on the device your user is on. 

Mobile-first is here to stay and plays an even more important role in 2018.

2. LARGE IMAGES & MEDIA FILES

Beautiful imagery can make your event website stand out from the crowd. Just make sure you're not sacrificing page speed. (Click to Tweet!)

Search engines hate low page speeds and loading times and because high-quality images can be quite large, your search engine visibility will definitely suffer. 

Solution: Use free tools like TinyPNG to shrink your media while maintaining relatively high quality. Compression tools are getting more and more sophisticated, so the human eye often can't tell the difference

3. NO FAVICON

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Having no favicon on your event website looks unprofessional. 

Favicons are your event website's little ID tag. They are incredibly useful for brand recognition, but also help build trust and credibility. Most importantly, favicons aid your website visitor visually. 

Let's think about this for a moment.

Many of your website visitors will prefer to keep browser tabs open while they're browsing. Adding a favicon to your event website will give your visitors a visual cue that helps them orient themselves, find what they're looking for and then return to your tab while they're browsing.

You want to make your site visitor's journey as easy and smooth as possible. 

WooRank has released an excellent article on the importance of Favicons for SEO.

4. HIDDEN NAVIGATION 

Imagine not being able to see your GPS device in your car while still having to navigate through unknown territory?

Your website's navigation is one crucial element that you don't want to miss.

If a visitor can't find what they're looking for within 10 seconds, they are most likely to leave your site or at least feel incredibly frustrated. (Click to Tweet!)

Not a great first event experience. 

5. NOT BEING ON BRAND 

A lot of event software products and services allow you to build event websites and online registration on their brand, not yours!

That's not what you want. 

You want to make sure, you have the most flexibility when it comes to personalizing the look & feel. No one wants to have a clone of an event theme that has previously been used by thousands of other event companies or brands

Uniqueness is key. 

Often, I see event websites that don't match up with the corporate branding just because it's very hard to customize. The color #hex code, the font family, the styling all need to be on your brand.  

Recommended: 9 Simple Tips For Creating A More Accessible Event Website

TECHNICAL MISTAKES

6. NO SECURE SITE

Do you see a HTTPS when you look on the top left of your browser bar? 

You do, because you're on our site and we're 100% secure.

Too often, however, event websites are missing that crucial ingredient. 

Not having a secure event website is like waving with a red flag, not only at your potential registrants, but also search engines. 

7. NON-INTEGRATED ONLINE REGISTRATION

Having your online registration separate from your event website will confuse people. (Click to Tweet!)

You want to make it as easy as possible and combine information with the ability to sign up and register for your event.

There should be no need to change from one platform to another or to open a new browser window in order to register for your event. 

No popups, no third-party websites, no portals. 

8. NOT ADDING GOOGLE ANALYTICS

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Google Analytics is free and it's a gold-mine to get valuable insights for optimizing your event website and your event content. It's not only relatively easy to set up, it also provides you with powerful reports to give you real insights into your audience and website behavior.

Knowledge that can help you improve your event website over time.

9. NOT USING VISITOR TRACKING / RECORDING

Your event website should never be like "create and forget". Once you have built it out, you need to enhance your site for conversion. (Click to Tweet!)

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You can use a free trial of Hotjar, which allows you to create heat maps and see exactly what your visitors are clicking on (and this is quite often different from what you may expect). This allows you to understand where you need to make improvements and what elements need to be more or less prominent.

With tools like Hotjar, you can also discover exactly what visitors do on your event website, including scrolls, mouse movements and form completions. 

This in return helps you understand what visitors are most often having difficulties with during their online journey.

CONTENT MISTAKES

10. USING CAROUSEL SLIDERS FOR YOUR CONTENT

Sliders make your event website suck.

No one wants them and according to a study from Harrison Jones at Search Engine Land no one clicks on them either.

You're probably shocked, I totally get it.

You want to show off all your unique aspects about your event, but instead of using a carousel, display one unique selling point at a time, not everything at once.

11. USING AUTOPLAY ON VIDEOS 

No matter how important, funny, inspiring or informative your video is, please don't make it auto-play. (Click to Tweet!)

Website visitors are typically smart enough to figure out the triangle control to make a video play.

Just don't play it straight away, especially with the sound on. It really annoys people. 

12. POOR GRAMMAR AND SPELLING 

Spelling mistakes happen to the best and no one will judge you for it. But if they happen on every page or in headlines, they can make you come across as unprofessional or hurt your probability and this will cost you money. 

13. IGNORING READABILITY

Using fonts that are too small, having the background clash with the font or using the wrong color combinations.

For example, thin, white line text on black background might make it very hard to hard. What seems to be a good idea on paper, might actually hurt the readability for your user. 

People scan through your content in an F-Shape. Why? Because they just don't have the time to go through everything line by line. 

14. USING CLASHING FONTS

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Fonts clash when they are too similar

Using more than 2 different fonts (especially if they are similar) can cause confusion and draw the attention away from your content instead of focusing on it. 

15. NOT FOCUSING ON YOUR AUDIENCE

Don't make your content all about you, your event or your brand. Show your visitors what's in it for them and how your event add value to their lives. 

Think about your audiences' desires, goals, attitudes, fears, frustrations, and problems. If you do, you will most likely see an increase in conversion and your audience will thank you. 

BONUS: USING STOCK IMAGES 

You should also stop using boring stock images as soon as possible. Great images are vitally important of event websites. Just remember, the better the images, the higher the conversion rates. You should also create better social media images for your event promotion,

Key Takeaways:

This is just a starting point if you're looking to create converting event websites. It's really not that difficult, but it requires some work. 

By no means is this a comprehensive list, but hopefully it will help you understand some of the mistakes that can happen.

I'm sure you agree, creating attractive event websites is crucial, but you need to balance content, design and usability and make your site work technically as well. 

Most importantly, you need to create an event website that grabs your audiences' attention, gives them the information they're looking for in a fast and efficient manner and helps them easily register for your event.

Focusing on your customer is key and then adjusting your content to make it more about them instead of you, plays a crucial role if you want to be successful.